Shoeing: how pads can help avoid lameness

  • Modern farriery techniques can help manage a range of conformation faults, enhance performance and even extend the competitive career of an equine athlete.

    Pads can help prevent concussion or bruising to the sole when the going gets hard. Your farrier might recommend soft gel-type pads, which enhance solar comfort and offer coffin joint support, or harder thermoplastic protective hoof shields.

    Once you’ve put pads on, they need to stay on – right? Not necessarily, according to Olympic British team farrier Haydn Price.

    “Ground conditions can change very quickly in the UK,” he says.

    “If your horse has a history of suffering with sore feet on hard ground, initiate the use of pads early. If conditions change, take them out.

    “Don’t wait till the horse starts backing off its fences before you mention it to your farrier,” he adds. “It’s easier to prevent a problem than fix it.

    Pads are far from an evil – as an adjunct to shoeing they can be hugely beneficial.”

    To read the full veterinary article on shoeing for performance see the current issue of H&H (19 April 2012)

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